Review: Mark Applebaum

Mark Applebaum
“Intellectual Property”

Mark Applebaum presents a dizzying array of sounds on this album sub-titled “Works for Acoustic & Electronic Instruments”.  Applebaum performs the pieces along with The Paul Dresher Ensemble, Steven Schick/Ivan Manzanilla Percussion Duo and other musicians.  The title track is a playful romp of a Disklavier player grand piano and improvising pianist reacting to played back improvisation.  Note that the improvising pianist is playing on the same instrument with its keys jumping on the playback!  It has a rollicking, ragtime feel and is a fun listen.  “Plundergraphic”, however, is sparse and mysterious.  In it piano, cello, percussion and flute/piccolo are a live acoustic section balanced by sound mixers and taped music.  The short percussion piece “Ferneyhough Remix (Aphorism 1)” has an Oriental quality while “Activity I” or “Mouseketier Praxis” is taught and suspenseful with the sounds Applebaum conjures from his odd assembly of “junk, found objects, and hardware mounted on electroacoustic soundboards.”  Intellectual Property offers a treasure trove of aural discovery.